Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics
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Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics

Edited by Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

This major reference book comprises specially commissioned surveys in environmental and resource economics written by an international team of experts. Authoritative yet accessible, each entry provides a state-of-the-art summary of key areas that will be invaluable to researchers, practitioners and advanced students.
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Chapter 1: An Overview of Environmental and Resource Economics

J.C.J.M. van den Bergh


Jeroen C J M . van den Bergh 1. Introduction The field of environmental and resource economics (E&RE) is developing rapidly, as is reflected by a large number of conferences, workshops, journals, monographs, edited books, and textbooks. The variety of contributions is also increasing. To some extent this is due to economists from various sub-disciplines of economics showing an interest in environmental and resource economics and contributing to its progress. In addition, the multidisciplinary nature of some of the questions raised in environmental economics research has caused an increase in the interaction between economists and scientists from various other disciplines, for the purposes of either communication or integration of insights and tools. All these developments are reflected in the appearance of various new journals in the last decade, the main ones of interest for economists being Environmental and Resource Economics, Ecological Economics, and Environment and Development Economics. A consequence of these developments is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay well informed about the range of issues dealt with in E&RE. Established textbooks do not cover all of these, since many issues concern too recent or too advanced material. Moreover, the number of monographs comprising a thorough and complete discussion of specific topics within E&RE remains relatively small, as opposed to the number of edited books with less internal cohesion. Survey articles on environmental or resource economics are rare, the main ones being Fisher and Peterson (1976), Peterson and Fisher (1977), Cropper and Oates (1992) and Krautkramer...

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